Woman wandering at Reffen street food market in Copenhagen

10 of Denmark's most exciting sustainable food initiatives

Photo: Boyan Ortse - Copenhagen Media Center

We know that we shouldn't play with food, but sometimes we just can't help it. Denmark's food culture is characterised by sustainability, new thinkers and innovative ideas. Come on in and discover the future of food!

Photo: RUNI Photopop - VisitAarhus

Mushrooms made from coffee grounds

The Fra Grums til Gourmet association in Aarhus has found a pretty smart way to recycle old coffee grounds from local cafes: they use them to grow oyster mushrooms! These gourmet mushrooms are delivered to restaurants, sold to private individuals or used for other projects. And as well as cultivating mushrooms, the volunteer group also holds workshops and lectures on sustainability.

The Botanical Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark
Photo: Birgitte Rubæk - VisitCopenhagen

Busy bees

Hundreds of thousands of hardworking bees live on the roof of the Scandic Hotel Aarhus City, producing 200 kilos of fresh honey for the hotel restaurant per year. The distance from beehive to breakfast buffet couldn't be shorter! 

In Copenhagen, a social project called Bybi involves the local community in honey production, selling by-products of beekeeping and jars of lovely honey. They aim to counter the decline in bees and create a more diverse environment.

Photo: Matteo Acitelli

A farm on the roof

There is a 600-sqm farm on the roofs of Copenhagen. You read that right: ØsterGro grows organic vegetables, fruits, herbs and edible flowers above the city, and has a greenhouse, a chicken coop (!) and several beehives. You can enjoy its produce at Gro Spiseri in a cosy greenhouse, heated by the multi-function oven in the kitchen. 

Restaurant Bæst Copenhagen
Photo: Malin Poppy Darcy Mörner / Copenhagen Media Center

...and a farm of ideas

A slightly different farm is the Farm of Ideas, founded by top Danish chef Christian F. Puglisi. Today the farm delivers its sustainably grown products to a number of Copenhagen restaurants and aims to stimulate dialogue between chefs and farmers with its initiatives. With vegetable boxes delivered weekly, private individuals can also get a taste of the products.

Ark restaurant
Photo: Daniel Rasmussen

Sustainable fine dining

The flagship restaurant of the Ark Collection, this 100% vegan restaurant was awarded a Green Michelin star in both 2021 and 2022, amongst many other accolades. Delicious and thoughtful food – not to be missed. Be sure to try their other restaurants, like the newly opened Souls in Carlsberg Byen. 

Reffen street food market in Copenhagen
Photo: © Rolands Varsbergs

Sustainable street food

Sustainability is also on the agenda at street food market Reffen in the Refshaleøen area of Copenhagen. Most of the market is made from recycled materials and the stalls are built from old shipping containers. A special focus is placed on reducing food waste and energy consumption overall.

Too Good to Go
Photo: Too Good To Go

An app declaring war on food waste

Too Good To Go is a pioneering app from Denmark now available in numerous countries worldwide. With just a click you can order leftover meals or groceries from cafes, restaurants and supermarkets that would otherwise be thrown away. Great food at great prices, served with an environmentally-friendly touch.


Supermarkets that think differently

Supermarket in Denmark are getting more sustainable every day. Just two examples include  

LØS-Market, a packaging-free supermarket, which asks its customers to to bring their own containers to go shopping, and Wefood, Denmark's first supermarket to sell goods with damaged packaging, incorrect labelling or expired best-before dates donated by other supermarkets or companies. 

Bier der dänischen Brauerei Bryghuset Møn
Photo: Markus Spiske

Green packaging

Nine out of 10 beverage bottles and cans in Denmark are brought back and reused in a nation-wide deposit system where we get money back if we return our bottles and cans to supermarket recycling facilities. There's more: in 2019 Carlsberg released the world's first sustainable beer bottle, made from sustainably-sourced wood fibers and is completely recyclable. We say skål to that!

A cricket
Photo: Wolfgang Hasselmann - Unsplash

The food of the future

BuggingDenmark's mission is to introduce edible insects as an integral part of our food culture and future food production. The insects are bred in Denmark's first urban insect farm in northwest Copenhagen. Are you ready to see crickets make a leap on to your dinner plate? 

Find your closest organic eatery

If you want to find organic restaurants, cafés and hotels or hidden gems in Denmark, look no further than this handy website (and map!) 

Find your closest organic place to eat here

Let's go even greener

A cyclist rides past a graffiti wall covered with green hearts
11 ways to go green like a Dane
The old railroad on Amager in Copenhagen
Go green in Denmark
Denmark's most sustainable restaurants
People eating in the greenhouse room at Gemyse Tivoli in Copenhagen
9 of Denmark's best vegetarian & vegan restaurants